Polis orders tax relief for Colorado restaurants and bars ahead of special session

Polis orders tax relief for Colorado restaurants and bars ahead of special session
Posted at 3:26 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 17:26:44-05

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday signed an executive order giving tax relief to restaurants, bars and other small businesses.

The order extends the state sales tax payment deadline for 30 days for the month of November for restaurants, bars and food trucks for up to $2,000, according to a news release from the governor's office.

The extension of the November collection deadline comes ahead of a special legislative session, in which Polis called on lawmakers to enact legislation that will allow bars and restaurants to retain up to $2,000 per month in sales tax from November through February.

Read the full order here.

“Colorado’s restaurants, bars, and food trucks are among the small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. We all want to keep these businesses open as a vital part of our lives and culture, which is why I’m proud to be working with a group of bipartisan legislators to provide much needed tax relief," Polis said in the release.

Indoor dining is currently restricted in Denver and more than a dozen other large counties, which are under "Level Red" on the state's COVID-19 dial. Restaurants in those counties can still offer limited outdoor dining, though doing so in the winter months will likely be more of a challenge than earlier in the year.

Polis called the special session, expected to begin in the coming weeks, for lawmakers to focus on the tax relief measures, housing and rental assistance, support for child care providers and expanded broadband access for students having to take remote classes.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle emphasized the need to help restaurants and small businesses.

“Many of our restaurants and bars are struggling to survive and most cannot offer outdoor seating during winter,” said Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, a Republican from Highlands Ranch. “We should provide tax relief and allow them to keep their state sales tax collections, in addition to providing other assistance, as a lifeline to help them get through winter.”

“This pandemic has taken a toll on every business in our state, but none have been harder hit than restaurants and bars that rely on indoor dining,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, a Democrat from Denver. “Many will not make it through the winter unless we provide emergency assistance by allowing them to keep their state sales tax collections through the winter months.”